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Heed Early Warnings, Stop Cancer Before it Starts

Actinic Keratoses, frequently referred to as AKs, are common lesions in fair-skinned, elderly patients who have typically had a lot of sun exposure throughout their lives. The majority of AKs are located on “exposed” areas such as the face and forearms and can have a “rough” or “gritty” feel to them. Patients may not be aware of these lesions until they are found during a regular dermatology skin check, such as an annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Examsm.

AKs can transform into Squamous Cell Carcinoma and less frequently into Basal Cell Carcinoma. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (also known as Squamous Cell Cancer) is a cancer that can spread from the skin to the rest of the body.

It is important to have these lesions evaluated by one of Advanced Dermatology’s physicians or other skin cancer specialist as the lesions can transform into a skin cancer. Your evaluation will begin with a thorough medical history and a total-body skin cancer examination.

Once one or more AKs have been found, several treatment options are available. In-office cryotherapy is a very common procedure that can treat these lesions immediately. Several newer topical medications and light-based treatments have also been developed to treat these lesions effectively. An Advanced Dermatology provider will discuss with you the best option for a pro-active treatment plan.

Avoiding Pre-Cancerous Actinic Keratoses
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Avoiding Pre-Cancerous Actinic Keratoses

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the major cause leading to these types of lesions, but other radiation sources (mainly tanning beds) can also cause them to form. Unfortunately, most of the exposure leading to these changes occurred while you were growing up. While you cannot go back in time, you can start taking a more proactive approach of protecting yourself from developing these lesions in the future. Using broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sun protection, protective clothing and staying in the shade when the sun’s rays are most powerful (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) are some of the precautions you can start taking immediately.

Have you had your Annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Examsm? Schedule your appointment today with your Advanced Dermatology provider to protect the health of your skin.

866.400.3376

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